A clear nattier blue sky beamed down on us this morning. Dew on our lawn glittered, and, as Jackie drove us to Pennington, the sun’s shafts radiated on the road ahead. It was a marvellous day on which to explore yet another beautiful corner of our chosen area, and the outside of a house situated there.
Middle Common Lane belongs in a picture book, and King’s Huts in an architectural history.
The so-called huts are a horseshoe-shaped group of three pairs of semi-detatched Edwardian Estate cottages set in mature gardens with plenty of space between them. The original gate leading to a brick path taking you to the individual houses has recently been renewed.
It is number 1 that is for sale. Just outside is a makeshift notice pleading for careful driving because a deaf cat crosses the road. The house itself is so well secluded, that it is impossible to see it all from the roadside. Peering through the hedgerow or over the back gate shows you nothing. The estate agent produced a clear enough set of photographs from inside, and one of the other houses was more clearly visible from inside the general gate. Much of the garden has been given over to a garage and workshop, and an attractive summer house, thus increasing the amount of accommodation provided. There is, however, plenty more to cultivate and enjoy, as can be glimpsed over the side gate.
The houses were built in 1908 for Mrs Powell King of Wainsford. They were clearly influenced by her friend Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, arguably the greatest ever British architect, who left his mark all over the world, and particularly in New Delhi. His essential contribution was the imaginative adaptation of traditional styles to the requirements of his era. It looks to me as if King’s Huts owed something to his earlier, Arts and Crafts, period.
Our return to Minstead was greeted by grunting Gloucester Old Spots outside the Hall. The most vociferous was doing its best to dislodge parasites from its coat. Maybe this is why wooden posts protecting vulnerably placed buildings from intrusive motor cars are occasionally in need of replacement.
The midday sun enhanced the glorious geraniums Jackie potted up in the spring, placed in the communal hall, and has nurtured ever since. She also wishes Helen to know that the chillies she grew from seed given her by her sister have borne fruit.
The weather was unchanged when, this afternoon, I walked to the Lyndhurst surgery for a check on the last wart procedure. This meant retracing the morning’s drive as far as Swan Green where I turned left.
As I kept a close eye on the pony chomping on the left of the narrow lane leading to ‘The Splash’, I narrowly avoided ruffling the rump of another directly in front of me. If ponies made half enough noise at the trough as the pigs, this would not have happened.
The lesion hasn’t quite disappeared from my left shoulder, so another bout of freezing was required. Prof Lyon-Maris had a student with him. She was permitted to administer the flu jab which was inflicted on me whilst they were at it.
Jackie met me outside the practice, and drove me to Elizabeth’s, from where Danni ferried us all to Eastern Nights and we enjoyed the usual excellent meal with Bangla, Cobra, and white wine.
We diverted to Sainsbury’s Homebase in Hedge End to buy an oil-filled radiator, since one of the electric heaters installed in our vast sitting room is not working, and we are tired of holding our breath waiting for Tracy, the estate agent’s representative, to get anything done about it.
From The Firs Jackie drove me back home.